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  • Former president of the Lower House Eduardo Cunha (C), president of the Senate Renan Calheiros (L) and Interim President Michel Temmer (R)

    Former president of the Lower House Eduardo Cunha (C), president of the Senate Renan Calheiros (L) and Interim President Michel Temmer (R) | Photo: EFE

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Cunha told Temer’s staff that, “if I’m condemned by your peers, or if the Supreme Federal Tribunal sentences me to prison, I will not go down alone.”

Eduardo Cunha, a main mover of the parliamentary coup against Dilma Rousseff, threatened on Wednesday to bring down 150 parliamentarians, a minister and a senator close to Brazil’s interim President Michel Temer with him if he is expelled from the Lower House.

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He reportedly told Temer’s staff that, “if I’m condemned by your peers, or if the Supreme Federal Tribunal sentences me to prison, I will not go down alone.”

The Council of Ethics of the Chamber of Deputies, which Cunha once led, voted 11 to 9 on Tuesday to suspend the lawmaker and ban him for eight years from elected office for lying about his undeclared Swiss bank accounts.

Cunha was already suspended by the country's Supreme Court over allegations he was using his position to obstruct an investigation into possible improprieties.

Tuesday's vote was regarding an alleged US$5 million in bribes hidden away in Swiss bank account.

Cunha denied having money offshore, but accounts tied to him were repeatedly confirmed by Swiss officials.

The issue will now be put to a vote in the lower house, where at least 257 of the 513 lawmakers must vote to suspend Cunha for him to lose his seat. However, Cunha can turn to the Constitution and Justice Committee of the chamber before the vote in the plenary is held.

Cunha has already threatened Temer, telling his former ally and coup-co-conspirator that none of his projects would pass the chamber without his support, and followed up by bringing together previously insignificant parties to control the Lower Chamber, which he headed.

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